Italy has bestowed the most appealing, elegant, sophisticated and splendid delicacies to the gourmet world. This cuisine delivers authentic flavours blossomed in the Italian Strada. The Italian Republic located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea masters in using a blend of cooking practices coming from various regions of the country. Italians are known for using a variety of herbs which are a quintessential part of their culinary practices.
As quoted by Elisha Cuthbert, “There is nothing more romantic than Italian Food” and thus missing on experiencing these beautiful and flavoursome dishes would amount to betraying your taste buds.
Following Italian dishes are a must-try.
1. Neapolitan Pizza
Crispy, crunchy and flaky, baked flatbread with a rich tomato sauce drizzled on the base and engulfed in a generous amount of drooling cheese is what we picture when someone says Pizza.
Neapolitan pizza is widely consumed pizza variant popular among the locals. Pizza is a baked flatbread prepared in the wood-fired oven in the traditional manner and served by adding a dollop of cheese and freshly sprinkled basil leaves as garnish. This delicacy is a must-have for every traveler.
Pasta is the staple Italian food and comes in a variety of shapes, each rendering a different flavour to the dish. It is prepared in varied sauces using different ingredients. Pasta is prepared in alfredo sauce, arrabbiata sauce, pesto sauce, bolognese sauce, mushroom sauce, marinara sauce, butternut squash sauce and the list is endless. From a 2-year-old child to an 82-year-old person, everyone has a taste for this tempting dish.
Cannelloni is a cylindrical variant of lasagna. These cylindrical tubes are stuffed with flavorsome fillings and are covered with delicious sauce and baked to perfection. The dish is a piece of heaven for both the vegetarians as well as non-vegetarians where spinach and ricotta cheese fillings satisfy vegetarian taste palate and beef cannelloni filling satisfies the non-vegetarians.
Torrone is an Italian nut and nougat candy. It is a rectangular brick candy, a common confectionary product sold in the country. Torrone candy is loaded with pistachios, almonds and hazelnuts, a sweet delight.
Arancini is a crispy fried ball finger food which turns out to be a great appetizer in the Italian cuisine. Arancini is a deep-fried rice ball dish covered in bread crumbs and is stuffed with mozzarella and meat. These arancini balls are a blast of cheese in one’s mouth. Marinara sauce is served on the side.
The oldest and traditional variant of pasta, lasagna is a flat square sheet pasta appreciated around the globe. This dish comprises stacked layers of pasta sheet alternated with a variety of sauces and layers of cheese. Lasagna can be made in a vegetarian manner by adding lots of juicy and healthy vegetables into it or by adding meat or chicken and making it a drooling delicacy for non-vegetarians.
Polenta is a mushy dish prepared by boiling cornmeal. The dish is prepared by frying and baking the mixture. Polenta is the comfort food for most Italians. This dish can be savoured as hot porridge as well. Though polenta is not as fancy as other dishes, its simplicity and flavors are its essence.
Risotto is an Italian rice preparation, appreciated worldwide. Rice is cooked in vegetable and chicken broth to gain a creamy texture. Parmesan cheese and white wine are added to the dish for added taste.
9. Italian Wine
Italy has vineyards spread across the country. Italy provides you with an amazing experience to bring out the wine expert inside you. With all the restaurants serving a wide variety of wine to vineyards organising wine tasting sessions, it is a paradise for the lovers of the alcoholic beverage.
Gelato is the low-fat kin to the ice cream family. It is a silky and soft frozen dessert. Gelato has a dense and a creamy texture which makes you drool and leaves you craving for more. It is a guilty pleasure for people with an inclination towards desserts.
Focaccia is oven-baked bread which is relished by the locals in various forms. The bread dough is topped with a variety of toppings including rosemary, olives, mixed peppers. The dough is baked until it turns out to be soft and fluffy. Focaccia is served as a side with many dishes and is also commonly used for preparing sandwiches. The outer crust is crispy and the inner layers are soft, moist and chewy.
Tiramisu is a classic Italian dessert. Savoiardi sticks are dipped in coffee and are added in the layers of this mouth-watering pastry. The layers are piped with creamy, airy, light and fluffy mascarpone cheese. Cocoa powder is sprinkled on the top of the pastry to cause visual damage by making it look irresistible.
Scallopini is a meat-based dish which is cooked using veal, turkey, chicken or pork. The meat is cut into fine slices and is cooked in a butter-reduced sauce. It is tossed with herbs and vegetables and is served hot.
14. Panna Cotta
Another classic dessert, Panna Cotta is made by thickening cream which has been sweetened and gelatin sheet is added to the cream mixture to give it a jelly-like texture and mold it in the desired shape. Fresh berry syrup is drizzled on the top of the frozen dessert and it is served by garnishing it with fresh berries and mint leaf.
Spritz is the most commonly consumed cocktail by the Italians. It mainly consists of prosecco and soda water and is the perfect refreshing drink for summers. Trying it at one of the Italian cafes or a restaurant is a must.